Audi Formula Racing CEO Adam Baker stated that the team aims to sign an “experienced” F1 development driver by the end of 2023. Audi has stated that it hopes to employ two drivers for its 2026 F1 debut.
Audi will enter Formula One with new engine regulations being implemented in 2026. They will assume control of the Sauber team, now known as Alfa Romeo, and be part of the usual Nascar picks today.
The German company will produce the engine, while the chassis will be manufactured in Hinwil, Switzerland.
Baker stated, “Our debut may seem far off, but we hope to have a development driver by the end of 2023.
It is crucial that the designer of our new engine has experience with the simulators we have at Neuburg.
We’re seeking Formula 1-experienced specialists in this industry. Since this is the first time since 2009 that Germany has manufactured an F1 engine, we must seek out specialists in England, France, or Italy.”
He knew it would be difficult when the corporation entered the sport in three years, even though revisions to the power unit regulations would allow it to compete with the top teams.
“Also, a regulatory cycle begins in 2026, when it often begins in the middle of a cycle for other organizations. Not only will the engines change, but so will the chassis. In certain aspects, it can eliminate the edge that competitors with more expertise previously held, making it easier for new builders to compete.”
The former head of BMW’s F1 engine program, Baker, stated that the revised rules for power units could allow Audi to compete in its maiden race.
Robert Kubica would serve Audi well as a development driver. He recently served as a reserve and test driver for Alfa Romeo, the team Audi is purchasing. This gave him a great deal of valuable experience. Kubica would be the optimal selection.
Esteban Ocon has a long history of racing and has won with Alpine. It would be prudent for the French driver to join the Audi-powered squad in 2026, given his great potential.
Lando Norris has been McLaren’s primary driver for the previous few years and is also a world championship contender. He could be one of the drivers Audi is seeking to employ.
Daniil Kvyat was expelled from AlphaTauri at the close of the year 2020. Before competing in NASCAR in 2021, the Russian worked as a backup driver for Alpine.
Kvyat is younger than other candidates but has extensive Formula One (F1) experience. 2014 saw Kvyat’s debut race with Toro Rosso. He moved to Red Bull in 2015. Red Bull released him amid the season because Max Verstappen was a superior driver.
In 2017, he rejoined Toro Rosso for the 2019 and 2020 racing seasons.
Mick Schumacher is one of the top F1 drivers and has been performing exceptionally well for Haas. Given his surname, he could be a significant factor for Audi in their inaugural season.
Last season, Carlos Sainz demonstrated his value to Ferrari. He may seek a new team if he is not regarded as a contender for the championship. Sainz may be a significant addition to the Audi-powered outfit.
2026 Sees New F1 Engine regulations
When the next generation of Formula One vehicles hits the track in 2026, they will be as strong as ever, but they will consume a lot less energy and emit no CO2 due to the engine requirements.
Formula 1 power units of 2026 will retain their current V6 internal combustion engine configuration. To keep the thrill, the power unit of 2026 will have the same performance as the ones currently in use. To make the races more exciting, it will employ high-power, high-revving V6 internal combustion engines and minimize performance differences.
Formula 1 wants to be environmentally conscious, so it wants to prevent more items from being disposed of in the ground. Batteries will be recycled, and materials like cobalt will be recycled after the MGU-Ks have reached the end of their useful life.
The power unit of 2026 will utilize 100 percent renewable fuel and consume up to 50 percent more electricity than it does today.
Formula 1 and its partner ARAMCO conducted extensive study and testing to ensure that the new F1 power units will exclusively use environmentally friendly fuels. Therefore, no additional fossil carbon will be consumed. Instead, carbon will be derived from sources other than food, urban waste, or even the atmosphere.